H.E. Salahuddin Rabbani Foreign Minister of Afghanistan and Honorable Sushma Swaraj External Affairs Minister of India co-chaired the said meeting.
The Strategic Partnership Council discussed a range of bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest. Both sides agreed on the following areas:
1. India agreed to extend further assistance for the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces in fighting the scourge of terrorism, organized crime, trafficking of narcotics and money laundering.
2. It was agreed that concrete, meaningful and verifiable steps for immediate cessation of violence were essential for the success of regional and international efforts to promote peace and stability in Afghanistan.
3. It was agreed to expand the Air Cargo Corridor to include other cities in Afghanistan and India as well as to increase the frequency of the cargo flights between the two countries.
4. Both sides agreed to work towards expeditious operationalisation of the Chahbahar Port in Iran under the trilateral Agreement.
5. The Afghan side welcomed the imminent commencement of wheat shipments of 170,000 metric tons from India to Afghanistan via Chahbahar Port.
6. Both sides also highlighted the importance of joint efforts towards expeditious implementation of the TAPI Gas Pipeline Project.
7. It was agreed to identify products and measures to enhance bilateral trade, including direct trade in gemstones, pharmaceuticals, and agri-products.
8. It was agreed to organize Buyer-Seller meets and interactions between trade chambers and businessmen.
9. The liberalization of visa measures by India for Afghan nationals, including decision to grant upto 5 year multiple entry business visa, was welcomed as a measure that would promote bilateral trade and commerce.
10. New Development Partnership
a. Both sides agreed to take up 116 High Impact Community Development Projects to be implemented in 31 provinces of Afghanistan, including in the areas of:
i. Education, health, agriculture, irrigation, drinking water, renewable energy, flood control, micro-hydropower, sports infrastructure, administrative infrastructure.
11. It was further agreed to implement the following new projects under grant-in aid assistance from India:
a. Shahtoot dam and drinking water project for Kabul that would also facilitate irrigation;
b. Low cost housing for returning Afghan refugees in Nangarhar Province to promote resettlement;
c. Road connectivity to Band-e-Amir in Bamyan Province that would promote tourism to the National Park and economic development;
d. Water supply network for Charikar city in Parwan Province;
e. Establishment of a Gypsum board manufacturing plant in Kabul to promote value added industry; and
f. Construction of a polyclinic in Mazar-e-Sharif;
g. The Afghanistan side proposed cooperation in development of communication infrastructure (Optic fibre) and Surobi 2 Hydropower plant with capacity of 180 MW. The Indian side agreed to explore the same.
12. It was decided to start implementation of 500 scholarships for graduate studies in India for the next-of-kin of martyrs of the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces from the Academic year 2018-19.
13. Expand the medical assistance for Afghan National Army personnel and organizing the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) training program.
14. The Foreign Service Institute of India would organize a Workshop for Afghan diplomats in December 2017, including in consular matters.
15. It was agreed to explore further cooperation in strengthening of (Afghan National Agricultural Sciences and Technology University) in Kandahar as an agricultural university.
16. ICCR would provide assistance, including musical instruments to the Afghan National Institute of Music in Kabul.
17. On the Regional and Global partnerships, both sides agreed to continue to work within the regional and international frameworks. It was agreed to coordinate on matters of mutual interest at the UN and WTO.
18. The following bilateral documents were signed:
a. Motor Vehicles Agreement for the Regulation of Passenger, Personal and Cargo Vehicular Traffic;
b. MoU on mutual cooperation in the field of pharmaceutical products regulation;
c. The Orbit Frequency Coordination Agreement between India and Afghanistan on South Asia Satellite (SAS);
d. Letters establishing the New Development Partnership and launching 116 High Impact Community Development Projects.
19. It was agreed to have regular meetings of the Joint Working Groups, including to monitor implementation of the decisions taken. Both sides agreed to hold the 3rd meeting of the Strategic Partnership Council in Kabul in 2018.
During this visit, H.E. Foreign Minister Rabbani met with Honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Mr. Ajit Kumar Doval, National Security Advisor of India.